Using a bicycle is a healthy and environmental choice, however there are always going to be risks associated with using your bike on the road. Many road users are not as aware of bike users as they should be, and therefore accidents can happen. If you have been involved in a bicycle accident which was not your fault, then you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
In order to make a claim, it is important that you are able to establish that the accident was fully or partially caused by someone else. If you were cycling dangerously, or not obeying the rules of the road, it is much less likely that your claim will be successful.
As a road user, you are still expected to obey the rules of the road, so if you are injured whilst running a red light, the chances are that you will be found to be the one at fault. However, if you have been injured in an accident where it is possible to establish that the fault lies with another party, then your claim stands a high chance of being successful.
Examples of cases where another road user has been found to be at fault include drivers pulling into cycle lanes unexpectedly and drivers opening car doors into the paths of cyclists. Many incidents also occur when vehicle drivers turn in on cyclists without checking their mirrors properly. There may also be opportunities to make a claim against those who are responsible for road maintenance or foreign objects which have been left in cycle lanes. Potholes and similar obstructions can be very dangerous for cyclists, and being thrown from your bike because of these obstacles can leave you in the path of even greater danger.
Make the Road Safer
Not only will making a claim give you the opportunity to receive the compensation that you deserve, but it also gives you the opportunity to help to make the roads safer for all bicycle users. These types of claims help to alert vehicle drivers to the need to be more cautious about cyclists. They also encourage local authorities to take steps to help to protect cyclists from injury.
How to Make a Claim
If you have suffered a bicycle accident injury, you should consult with a claims assessor or solicitor who ideally specialises in bicycle accident claims. The Law Society can help you find a solicitor here. At your initial consultation session, they will be able to assess whether your claim is valid and viable. If the claim is considered to be viable, you will then be given the option to proceed.
In some cases, the guilty party will admit liability straight away and you will be offered compensation immediately. In other cases, your solicitor will help you to gather additional evidence to support your claim and to help to prove the value of your claim. Claims only go to court in very rare circumstances, when it has not been possible for both parties to come to a suitable settlement. You should only continue to court on the advice of your solicitor.